This is the first of what we hope will be many posts on this site, covering all the vagaries and nuances of all the biggest policy and political issues in Scotland today. Now, we’re excited to get right into it, and we have stacks of articles in the works to share with you, but before we get to that, we thought we’d introduce ourselves and our mission.
‘Sensibility’, our name, has two particular meanings to us. The slightly more obscure one (it is doubtless astonishing to discover that a group of political bloggers might also be nerds) is that it is the name of the SNP’s chosen font for campaign materials. This is not mere coincidence, nor is it for our amusement alone. This site is run by members and supporters of the SNP; people who admire the party for its ideal of a progressive, inclusive, and social democratic independent Scotland.
The second meaning is the dictionary definition – ‘the quality of being able to appreciate and respond to complex emotional or aesthetic influences; sensitivity.’ We’ll refrain from pointing any elbows – indeed, that’s something we’re going to try and avoid generally – but you have likely noticed that this sort of ‘sensibility’ has been notably absent from more than a few corners of Scottish debate. Polarisation of politics is certainly not unique to Scotland, but more and more often, the levels of vitriol and hostility are reaching a fever pitch. We believe better information, better debate, and more platforms to talk about progressive, left-wing issues in an inclusive and nuanced way are needed if we are to remedy this and improve our politics. We want Sensibility to be a positive and welcoming space, away from the soundbites and pile-ons of Twitter, to read and learn and engage with issues from a thoughtful progressive perspective.
Increasingly, the standard of debate within the SNP, the Yes movement, and the broader public has fallen far enough below what should be considered acceptable that there are human consequences. On these occasions, some people seem to either forget or just not care that there are real individuals suffering as a result of the things they say and sometimes the actions that follow. Women, disabled people, BAME people, trans people, and the broader LGBTQ+ community have been among those who have suffered as a result of increasingly vitriolic, personal, and even discriminatory rhetoric. Above everything else, we cannot accept a debate or a public space in which certain people – particularly those who are already vulnerable or at risk – feel unsafe. This Sensibility Project, we hope, will be part of our contribution to undoing this.
Scotland is not a perfect country – after all, no country is – and independence will not in and of itself make it so. But it represents the perhaps more valuable belief that, whether or not you believe a perfect country is possible, striving toward it is always a worthwhile endeavour. We see the potential for, if not a perfect independent country, then an ever-better one that is open and always seeking to improve, never leaving anyone behind or shrugging at collateral human damage. The Sensibility Project is our attempt at helping Scotland get there, and we hope you’ll join us for the journey.